In a family of three generations of Billings peak baggers, Landon Fagg recently became the youngest and his grandfather the oldest.
Landon, 7, and Harrison, 77, climbed to the top of 12,500-foot Silver Run peak, southwest of Red Lodge in the Beartooth Mountains, on Aug. 17, a 25-mile round trip that took three days.
The duo, along with Landon's father, Grant, posed atop the peak with banners. Landon held his purple and gold "1" while Harrison held one marked "50" for his 50th peak over 12,000 feet.
For Landon, the first trip was an inspiration.
"I want to climb all of the mountains in the world," he said before climbing atop a nearby planter.
His motivation was simple.
"Getting my name in the paper," he said.
He also wanted to get a rock, gray and about the size of a fist, which he proudly displayed. It's not just any rock. The Beartooths contain some of the oldest rocks on the planet, dating to about 3.9 billion years ago.
Landon may have caught the peak-climbing bug from his father. In 1973, Grant became the youngest person to climb Montana's highest peak - 12,807-foot Granite in the Beartooths. He then set out to climb every peak in the state over 12,000 feet in elevation, 28 in all. He completed the last, Mount Hague, when he was 18 years old.
"I've climbed 40 and it looks like I'll do 27 more," said Grant, now 46 years old. "My dad did it for me."
Landon's hike was no easy trek. It was nine miles just to base camp. The overall elevation gain for the trip was more than 4,600 feet. After the first leg of the trip, the trio awoke to an inch of snow, a quarter-inch of water frozen atop a bucket and a nearby lake coated with a skim of ice. The route included about 2.5 miles of boulder hopping, a feat made more difficult due to Landon's short legs.
"It was hard for me with long legs," Harrison said.